How Social Class Can Influence the Buying Behavioural Pattern of Consumers

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Social class is the position or ranking of people in society based on social stratification variables like income, occupation, type of residence, education and qualification that affect purchase pattern and buying behaviour. Social classes show distinct product and brand preferences, especially for goods considered as luxuries such as cars, furnishings and leisure activities like golf. For instance, wealth, power and prestige are popular factors frequently used in the estimation of social class. Social class influence can be used as a basis for segmenting markets, and may reflect the aspirations of consumers. (Schiffman, L., Bednall, D, O’Cass, A., Paladino, A., Ward, S. & Kanuk, L., 2008) Members within a social class share similar values, interests and behaviours. This is important because they tend to share the same purchasing and consumption patterns.

Singapore social class is ranked in hierarchy ranging from low to high status, that is, upper, middle and lower classes. It is evidently shown by the people’s educational level, income, mode of transportation and the type of residences they live in. However, Singapore still remains largely a middle class society with the high number of neighbourhood shopping malls and HDB flats attest to it.

The Upper Class
The upper class includes the aristocracy, the new social elite, successful business people and the professionals. These groups of consumers are often seen living in landed properties and private condominiums and belong to prestigious club memberships. They often view themselves as intellectual, liberal, politically and socially conscious. The kind food of they consume, the things they use, the network of friends, are to be branded as good “quality” to show their social status, not forgetting first class flight seat to any destinations in the world. People in this social class indulge in luxury goods and activities, investment activities and watch collection become part of their hobbies. Therefore,...
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